Well, here we are, Miami Spicing it up again. This time, our target was Bourbon Steak in Aventura. Bourbon Steak has been on my radar for a while, but the funding was just never there to go try it out. This is precisely the reason why I made it my mission to come here during Miami Spice.
The restaurant is located inside Turnberry Isle Miami, a luxury hotel. The place is pretty darn swanky, but everyone was gracious and incredibly friendly. A word of caution, the hostesses would not seat our party of 5 until all members were present. So, if you’ve got perpetually tardy people coming to join you, make sure you tell them the reservation is earlier than it really is.
When you’re seated, most restaurants may bring out some bread. Bourbon Steak ups the ante by bringing out something a little bit different.
These are the chef’s signature duck fat fries. Yes, you read that correctly. Fries that are cooked in duck fat. This trio of fries each had a different seasoning and dipping sauce. The ones on the left were seasoned with Hungarian paprika and served with bbq sauce. The middle ones were seasoned with onion powder and served with an onion creme fraiche. We called those the “sour cream and onion” fries. The ones on the right were seasoned with rosemary and thyme, and were accompanied by a spicy ketchup. To be honest, the fries didn’t even need a dipping sauce. They were so hot, crispy, and flavorful without the condiments. I would have asked for more, but we hadn’t even gotten through the first course.
For the appetizer, I has the sweet corn risotto. It was made with brown butter, Chanterelle mushrooms, and La Quercia Speck (which, thanks to Google, I know is a type of aged ham). This risotto was a work of culinary art. The sweet creaminess of the risotto, combined with the salty crunch of the speck, was just spectacular. The speck was like crunchy bacon, but better. The mushrooms were tender, but not mushy. The rice was the slightest bit undercooked, but did not take away from the dish.
The organic chicken breast was, well, a chicken breast. It was pretty good, but there’s not much else to say about it. The little cubes that look like croutons were actually squares of fried cheese grits. They were nice and crispy on the outside, and creamy on the inside. They had a little bit of kick to them, like there may have been some sort of hot pepper mixed in.
My entree was the 6oz Moroccan spiced New York strip. At first glance, it looked to be a little too rare for the medium temperature that I requested. Still, the steak was tender and flavorful. It was served with a side of roasted cauliflower with capers and sultanas (seedless white grapes). To me, the cauliflower side was very reminiscent of Thanksgiving stuffing, which gave the dish kind of a “homey” taste to it.
At this time, I’d like to point out the cleanliness of our table. Throughout the entire meal, servers and bussers alike were clearing plates, wiping our table down, and keeping everything fresh. Best of all, they did it in a very unobtrusive manner. I was impressed. So, this was our table after our entrees, having been cleared away to make way for dessert.
I ordered the chocolate almond torte, mainly because the server said that it was made with only actual almonds, and no extract or amaretto. Sadly, this was not the case. After two bites, I was overwhelmed by that strong amaretto/almond extract taste. One of my guests, who loves amaretto, really enjoyed her dessert. Me, not being a fan of amaretto or almond flavoring (I always swap it out with vanilla when a recipe calls for it), not so much. I considered requesting to swap it out with another dessert choice (the bourbon blackberry salad with Profiteroles was a hit at the table), but I was already full anyway. Plus, our dessert was followed by a bonus round of truffle pops!
I enjoyed my dinner at Bourbon Steak. Would I return? Well, maybe after I get my tax return, or for Miami Spice again. Otherwise, I think I would need to sell a few things on eBay to afford a meal at the regular price. They’re definitely worth trying at least once, though!
For more information on Bourbon Steak Miami, visit http://michaelmina.net/restaurants/locations/bsmi.php